State Farm Arena, home to NBA's Hawks, receives historic certification for zero waste efforts

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State Farm Arena, home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, made history on Monday when the arena became the first sports and live entertainment venue to earn TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum Certification from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) for zero waste.

"We are honored to receive TRUE Platinum certification from GBCI as we continue to set the standard as a global leader in the sports and entertainment industry," Hawks Executive Vice President and State Farm Arena General Manager Brett Stefansson said in a news release obtained by Fox Business.

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Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after hitting a 3-pointer against the Miami Heat during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round series at State Farm Arena April 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The historic certification underscored the venue and the Hawks’ efforts of reducing the amount of waste going to landfills. Game 4 of the Hawks’ 2021 playoff series against the New York Knicks marked the first time a sporting event earned a TRUE silver certification from the GBCI.

In February, when music star Billie Eilish’s "Happier Than Ever, The World Tour" came to the arena, State Farm Arena partnered with Eilish and Live Nation to produce the first zero waste sold-out event.

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Bam Adebayo (13) of the Miami Heat and John Collins (20) of the Atlanta Hawks at tipoff of Game 3 of a first-round series at State Farm Arena April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The TRUE Platinum certification means the arena received the maximum number of GBCI points from a variety of categories, according to a press release. The categories include "redesign, reduce, reuse, compost (re-earth), recycle, zero waste reporting, diversion (min. 90%), zero waste purchasing, leadership, training, zero waste analysis, upstream management, hazardous waste prevention, closed loop system and innovation."

The State Farm Arena is diverting at least 90% of all waste from landfills and incineration during basketball games, concerts and other events. During Hawks games this season, the venue diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste. The team worked with various companies, including Novelis, one of the leaders in aluminum rolling and recycling.

A view of shirts on the seats prior to Game 3 of a first-round series between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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"Accomplishing this was only possible with an entire team effort," Geoffrey Stiles, the Hawls’ senior vice president of facilities and events for State Farm Arena, said in a release. "When we began our zero waste journey, we knew that the vision would take buy-in from everybody – our fans, partners and staff – night after night and event after event to make this happen. We are incredibly grateful to share this monumental achievement with them."

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